Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Book: Soundtrack (Evans)

- The Music of the Movies -

Mark Evans

Miklos Rozsa

Da Capo Press

Monday, December 26, 2022

A Forever Question: Let's Not Forget

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Did Santa spend some time with those unfortunate?"

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Trekking Back to a Special Christmas Time

Christmas is great when you're a kid. This morning I thought about my favourite memories. Quickly I nailed one: 1970.

(After reading that, pretend you have a faulty memory. This is more correct: "He posted about the Christmas of nineteen-ninety.")

My favourite present that year was the AMT "Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Space Ship Model Kit".

(Star Trek was sparking hot. The series had finished its NBC network run only eighteen months earlier. Toronto television station CFTO was running/stripping the episodes at 5pm on weekdays.)

It was not a simple plastic model kit as it was "lighted". Small light bulbs, included in the box, could be inserted into the top and bottom of the primary hull (the saucer-shaped portion) and at the front-ends of the engine nacelles (those long tubes). The former were capped by green-tinted discs, and the latter were topped-off by amber-tinted domes. My mother helped me with the wiring and the insertion of the lamps' power source: a D-cell, not included with the kit, sat in the secondary hull (the bottom tube-like section).

Building a model kit is fun, but seeing the completed AMT U.S.S. Enterprise suspended from my bedroom ceiling was a trip, and it looked great with the bedroom light off.

I remember something else from Christmas Day 1970. My dad was in the process of carving the turkey when he looked over at the Zenith television: "I'm surprised this is on today." (The episode was "The Return of the Archons".)

Fond Christmas memories.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve Story Special: a Christmas in Germany

While listening to the radio a few years ago I heard a piece about whether or not it's cool to let the little ones open their gifts the night before Christmas. This reminded me of my childhood in then West Germany.

As is the tradition in that great nation, opening the boxes and wrappings is done the night before. A then little one, me, not only did not complain but decided then that Germany is one great nation. I remember well one Christmas where our landlord and his wife came up to say hi and to present us with presents. I remember mine: a Matchbox toy of an early 20th century automobile.

Roll back a few years to my first Christmas in Germany. Santa Claus back in 1960s Deutschland was not a big thing ― if you'll pardon the expression. Saint Nick, however, was. Well, let me tell you what that man did to this then five year old. I remember being summoned by my parents to the entry way of our apartment. Standing beside the door was a tall figure, a woman (probably a teenager), dressed up in full Saint Nick attire. My mother said "look dear" as she pointed at my shoes which were parked neatly on the mat. I saw it, an inanimate thing in one of my shoes... a lump of coal. ("Noooo!")

I, dressed fashionably in what some crude folk might refer to as a "wife-beater shirt", held both hands up to my face and started crying. My parents laughed. It was not funny.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Picturing: Looking Through the Mitchell Mk II

Film Design: Polaroid of Cosmonaut Costume Test

The Polaroid's blank space has nothing written on it, but it should read:

"Cosmonaut flight-suit costume test-fitting, Marty."

I designed this piece of wardrobe for my (unfinished) 35mm short film Hyper-Reality. Two cosmonaut costumes were built, fitted specially for the actors to play them. The above picture was taken in the film studio, here in Toronto, where we were to shoot a few weeks later.

Video: Penny The Talking Cat Plays Trivia!

I don't often visit Instagram, but there must be an algorithm that picks up on the fact that I love cats. One day I saw a particular video posting and thought: "I know that cat!"

Penny is one of many talking cats on the internet, and one of the most charming. Her interactions with her humans are always engaging, and funny.

The above embedded video is a keeper... like Penny The Cat.

By the way, I do know that such videos are silly, as Archie Bunker once said when he and Meathead were arguing about television commercials, with Archie citing an example of why that 'artform' is meant to be ridiculous and, yes, "silly": Morris The Cat commercials.

The man of letters capped off his argument with something like this: "Besides, everybody knows no cat can talk dat good."

But, Penny can....

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

A Forever Question: In a Days

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Why does one think Tuesday is Monday?

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Fun: Alien Invaders In Toronto

Actually, they are actors dressed in get-ups I designed for my as-of-yet unfinished short film, Hyper-Reality. So, you can all relax: We are not being invaded by "cheesy" space aliens from some place out there.

The reader can be forgiven for thinking: "What are they gonna do, anyway?... Make me die from laugher?"

I would explain: "You should see the far-out equipment in their lair, hidden deep underground, beneath the very foundations of Toronto. Their machinery consists of flickering control panels based on the U.S. Air Force's IBM AN/FSQ-7 air defence computer from the 1950s. These pint-sized alien dudes came well equipped!" (Yours truly also designed their electronic apparatus.)

Yes, that's the CN Tower in the distance.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Film Design: Designing an Irwin Allen Panel

If you've seen the old Irwin Allen television shows Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, or Time Tunnel, you probably remember what I refer to as "The Irwin Allen Panel". In the early 1960s the 20th Century Fox studios prop department bought surplus U.S. Air Force equipment and made some modifications, including taking the indicator lights and hooking them up to a series of chaser-boxes, thereby producing sequenced blinking lights.

The equipment was already "old" but that did not stop producer Irwin Allen from utilizing them for his futuristic television programs. (Makes sense; 1960s aliens in silver face paint no doubt would operate 1950s Earth equipment.)

By the way, the panels appeared in the television series Lost (2004 - 2010). My guess is they are still available for rent.

When designing my (as of yet unfinished) short film Hyper-Reality, I used the panels in question as a guide. The story requires a retro look. I had a lot of fun conjuring up this piece of fanciful equipment, but credit must go to Dennis Pike for the hours of construction, and wiring the many light bulbs ― "blinky lights" necessary to sell this machine as coming from a 1960s Irwin Allen television program.

The photo affixed above features a crew member operating a piece of projection equipment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A Forever Question: The What?

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Is it sometimes recommended to take the Road To Nowhere?

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Book: The Road to Wigan Pier (Orwell)

The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell

Penguin Books
(published in 1937)

Friday, December 9, 2022

Film Design: A Character In Thumbnail Sketch Form

Sketchpad on the lap. The 'radio' tuned to ZoomerRadio. Think of characters.

A few thumbnails pop onto the paper.

Who is this guy? How did his parents name him? I'm going to use him; I know just the project. He'll be a star.

I can imagine who he might be: He hangs around on a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway station platform ― specifically "St. George" Station ― but never actually boards a train. He stands there, in some sort of spiritually lost limbo, not sure in what direction to travel, and not sure if he wants to leave, if at all, via the "Bedford" or "St. George" exit.

With further imagination I begin to believe he's a former University of Toronto student; Law was his first course, but switched to Engineering Science after he figured it might be easier. It wasn't easier. And now he's drawn back to this place. Life takes an unexpected course. Can he go back and try it all over again? (That outfit he wears tells me he was the water boy for the Varsity Blues football team, circa late-eighties.)

I speak with a TTC inspector who stands on the "southbound" platform. It is important for my own sanity that I ask the big question.

"He's here almost every time I'm at this station", I offer.

The inspector answers, without editorial or judgement: "His name is Dennis."

Yes. Dennis. Dennis shall be his name!

Monday, December 5, 2022

A Forever Question: To the Brolly!

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. When it rains and pours do the Wellies come out?

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Poem: We'll Meet Again?

It was a year ago, this week
that we last met...

under that ship's
crane as it unloaded
a shipment of cheap
products from the "orient"

however, as you remember, but
perhaps you don't
that crane did drop its





And with that bad luck,
my sweet
it's not possible for
you and I to ever meet

under that crane, or
anything else again.


Simon St. Laurent

Sunday Fun: Carnivorous Seaweed?!

Floating through Wikipedia, as I'm prone to do once I'm on a rolling wave, I went from "shipping" to "Bermuda Triangle" to "Sargasso Sea" and ended up on "The Lost Continent (1968 film)". That entertaining motion picture, produced by Hammer Films, wonderful Hammer Films, and Seven Arts Productions, captured me when I first saw it in my early teens.

I read its Wiki entry....

Basic plot details took me back to fantastic imagery: wrecked ships (it is the Sargasso Sea, after all); conquistadors; people sporting "buoyancy balloons" (fantastic!); pirates; priests; and Spanish ladies (marketing, my boys!).

I decided right there that I had to see this film again.

Then I read further:

"... adrift in a morass of large sentient carnivorous seaweed...."

Carnivorous seaweed?!

(Sentient carnivorous seaweed?!!)

(Large sentient carnivorous seaweed?!!!)

What the?....

Should I even click on that?

With my cursor, and some trepidation, I touched the link.

Oh, it's two separate words, links: "carnivorous"; "seaweed".

That makes more sense... and makes me feel a lot better about swimming in the ocean. (Regular seaweed doesn't bother me. Key word: "bother.")

I'll probably avoid the Sargasso Sea. But I won't avoid The Lost Continent.

Picturing: Me With a Tim Hortons Coffee (Large)

Photo: courtesy of my smartphone's lousy camera.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

An HMS Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

This information junkie needed to clear his head while enjoying dinner this evening. A submarine dive video did the trick.

Two GoPro cameras were attached to the deck of HMS Torbay in May of 2017. Spectacular footage it is. Thanks to the video's producer music wasn't laid in. ("Please. No Hans Zimmer, please no.") It's so much nicer to hear those waves sliding and gurgling over the topside as the machine fills its water tanks.

Two months after this video was taken, HMS Torbay was decommissioned by the Royal Navy.

I'm wondering if YouTube has any episodes of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea aboard. (The submarine Seaview was decommissioned by ABC in 1968.)

Friday, December 2, 2022

Film Costume Design: Alien Battledress Sketches

There are a few "Alien" characters in the (as of yet) uncompleted 35mm short film, Hyper-Reality.

Above are two pages of colour concept drawings I did when I was beginning to think about the look of the Aliens' "battledress". The flowing robe idea had already been established with the metallic gowns the characters wear in the first part of the film, but these sketches illustrate my roughing out the colour patterns for the battle version.

I based the idea on "Heraldry". Early on I had decided on blue and red, but it took many thumbnails ― which I will post later on ― to nail down exactly what "cut" I wanted. The final result was one of the simplest ideas; which is often the case with this sort of thing.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and The Planets

For me, February 25th, 1989, involved having a pretty wonderful time at Roy Thomson Hall here in Toronto. With friends I went to see conductor Andrew Davis' return to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for a special concert. A fine double feature:

Gustav Holst's "The Planets"

Raymond Luedeke's "Tales of the Netsilik ― for orchestra and narrator"

I had heard "The Planets" many times before this night, but hearing it performed live made me appreciate the stellar work even more ― the choral section was absolutely heavenly! (Even considering the then crappy acoustics at RTH.)

Canadian Broadcaster Peter Gzowski told tales as narrator: his familiar voice, at least to CBC Radio listeners, complemented the material, his relaxed style most fitting.

One of my concert-mates said something interesting as we rose from our seats: "I liked the second one more."

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Reading About Television

Reading about art of all kinds is something I enjoy. What is the backstory behind that painting, sculpture, or piece of music? Having grown up with series television like most people, I was furnished with an interest in reading about that art form, even if it may arguably be a lesser art form. As for books about movies, I devoured Kenneth Macgowan's history of the motion picture, "Behind the Screen", in my first year of high school. Two years later it was Arthur Knight's "The Liveliest Art", with many more to come.

In fact, 'it' started earlier: One of my elementary schools had, filed in its library's racks, copies of "The Making of Star Trek" (Stephen Whitfield) and "The Making of Kubrick's 2001" (Jerome Agel). Due to the popularity of the former, the school library had two copies of its "making of". How complex pieces of entertainment are put together makes for fascinating reading if you are interested in the art and business of film and television. (Films and television programs of the science fiction strain tend to have the making-of books; for obvious reasons, I suppose. Give me a book on the making of All in the Family, and I won't put it down.)

A few years ago I read a book about the original "Doctor Who" series. As it was a television program I watched in my youth it too made for interesting reading. I mentioned the book to a friend of mine who also grew up with Who. As it turned out, he too had read it. He cracked me up when he added: "Very often it's more interesting reading about the show than actually watching it." Very true.

(Contrary to what Globe and Mail television critic John Doyle may think, most television is best enjoyed as a television schedule listing.)

More interesting to me is the history and business of television. It's a form that occasionally, rarely, pops out a fine dramatic or comedy series. Fighting off Theodore Sturgeon's pesky "law" is essential. Somehow art is produced.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Outer Limits vs. The Twilight Zone

For some, the issue of which is the better television series is of the utmost importance. I like both equally, and, they are actually two different shows once one gets past the anthology format, which both share equally.

The Twilight Zone (1959 - 1964)
More fantasy than science fiction.

The Outer Limits (1963 - 1965)
More science fiction than fantasy.

I have a first-hand story regarding that great and often-fought battle.

Years ago I was visiting my neighbour. The food and drink came out, but nobody got drunk. The ensuing discussions were of the type expected at a friendly get together.

It happened. Scott, boyfriend of my neighbour, seemed to have a problem with my holding The Outer Limits in the same esteem I did The Twilight Zone. "Oh, come on, man. The Outer Limits was so bad. There was that episode that was so typical. The one with the robot boxer."

A challenge. I was thrown back into the ring: "That episode was called 'Steel'. It starred Lee Marvin. And it was a Twilight Zone episode."

Passion. The fists flew. Well, he pointed. "You're wrong." And continuing variations on that theme.

I went back to my apartment, and from my bookcase I pulled The Twilight Zone Companion (Marc Scott Zicree). Back to the battlefield.

With the book opened at the proper page, the chapter on "Steel", Scott's jaw dropped. In the manner expected of a soul converted by a well-placed "K.O.", he emitted a feeble, but emotive: "This is a conspiracy."

On such matters, don't argue with Uncle Simon.

No. "Uncle Simon" is a Twilight Zone episode.

Book: Film Art (Bordwell & Thompson)

Film Art
- An Introduction -
Ninth Edition

David Bordwell
Kristin Thompson


Monday, November 28, 2022

A Forever Question: So Pale

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Can nightmares be tamed?

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday Fun: Do Mums Know Funny?

A few years ago I watched an episode of the CBC 'comedy' series Schitt's Creek and I got a flashback: Seeing comedic actors Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara ply their trade in material far beneath their talents reminded me how funny they were in the classic Canadian comedy series SCTV.

I discovered the show when it was titled, simply, Second City Television. How we stumble upon a certain television series, especially one that goes on to great heights, has long interested me. In the case of me and SCTV it all started in 1977 through my weekly scans of TV Guide magazine. For many weeks I would note the listing for something called Second City. It would appear with the numbers 6 and 41, which translated as the Global Television Network. ("Global" in those days was the new kid on the dial but it delivered a fine range of fare; unlike the plastic rubbish can it is today, and has been for years.)

One evening I decided to sit down and sample this "Second City" thing. I liked it. My fifteen-year-old head got much of the humour. I did not know it at the time but what I had watched was an episode from the first batch, which was produced at the Global studios on Barber Greene Road in Toronto.

I had to tell others of my great discovery, one I categorized as a video equivalent of David Livingstone's discovery of Victoria Falls... well, Mosi-oa-Tunya, more properly.

Mum! She'll be my first convert. As this week's episode unreeled on the chromatic Zenith, she and I sat in silence. That's right, as in "no laughter". I wanted to laugh but I realized that emitting anything even mildly resembling a positive reaction might read as lacking class to my British born and raised mum.

End credits: The next day I brought up the issue with my mother. "Why didn't you like it?", I asked, darn well knowing the answer about to come my way. My dad overheard this and became curious as to what serious discussion was playing out before him: "What's that?..."

I figured it was prudent to let mum answer: "Oh, it's called Second City. They're trying to do a Monty Python but it doesn't work."

Mum was so wrong....

Thursday, November 24, 2022

I Wish I Could Look This Good

While visiting the BBC's website this morning a few articles caught my eye. As I'm a bit of a photographer, the 'photo stories' garner special interest from me.

I scrolled down and was stopped in my scroll: "I wish I could look that good!"


Photo credit: EPA Images

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Book: F. Kafka (Kafka)

F. Kafka
- The Complete Stories -

Franz Kafka

Edited by
Nahum N. Glatzer

Foreword by
John Updike

Schocken Books
1971 / 1983

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Forever Question: Not Boxed In

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Is knowledge not freedom for all?

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunday Fun: Square Pegs ― Opening Titles

By 1982 my television viewing was more or less down to movies and public affairs programs, with a dash of the NHL. September brought a new and interesting half-hour sitcom that got some of my attention span: Square Pegs. CBS might have been accused of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole of a television schedule. The series lasted one season: in this case, 20 episodes.

Why did I watch? It may have been due to the fact that one of my best friends was a fan. During our Friday or Saturday night pick-up ice hockey games, Mark would recount to us lacing-up lads the latest in the high school activities of the Square Pegs gang; almost all of whom, I should add, were actually of high school age.

My admission: Tracy Nelson. Perhaps it's an exaggeration to say that her character of Jennifer DiNuccio was the only reason I'd waste a half hour of my life almost every week, but she certainly did not hurt the eyes. Those eyes! She was also funny: "Gross me out."

One of the best characters was Johnny "Flash" Ulasewicz, played by Merritt Butrick. He looked a tad too old to be in high school and he was. His manic moves and utterances were instant sellers.

Looking at it now, Square Pegs is very '80s. A totally different head... totally.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Book: Space Race (Cadbury)

Space Race
- The Epic Battle Between America and the Soviet Union for Dominion of Space -

Deborah Cadbury

Harper Perennial

Monday, November 14, 2022

A Forever Question: Who Cares?

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Would 'marital status' be better itemized as 'damaged' or 'not damaged'?

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday Fun: Miller Lite ― Great Canadian TV Advert

While I do not like television commercials, especially those from this country, Canada, certainly those produced here in Toronto, there is one I loved when it aired many years ago: an NHL goalie-loaded promotion for Miller Lite beer, Canada.

The headliner is former St Louis Blues and New York Rangers netminder John Davidson. A natural actor, he carries the continuous 30-second shot, and a beer, a Miller Lite, as he makes his way through a crowded bar.

"Hi ya, Eddie!" That's Eddie Giacomin, former goaltender with the New York Rangers, where, for a few years, he shared puck-stop duties with....

"Good to see ya, Gillie! How ya doin'?" That's Gilles Villemure!

The main conceit in the advert is the fibreglass goalie mask, which these men would paint over with a graphic, one to reflect their respective personalities. Actually, Mr Villemure left his as a natural yellow-white finish. The masks' airhole cuts would be another identifying 'mark'.

I won't give away the ad's ending... it's fun, and I laughed out loud the first time I saw it. I laughed as uproariously when seeing it again for the first time in decades.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Remembrance Day To Be Remembered

With Remembrance Day almost upon us, I thought about a story of my own regarding that special day; and its special symbol: The poppy.

In early November in the late 1980s (I'm thinking 1989), I hopped onto a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway train car. With the seats being all but fully occupied I took the famous door position as the doors closed behind me. Sitting on the other side of the car, with his poppy box resting on his lap, and looking sharp in his uniform, was a veteran.

Immediately I remembered that a few minutes earlier I had shoved a two dollar bill (remember those?) into my shirt pocket. I approached the vet as I drew out the money. He got up from his seat and carefully pinned the poppy to my coat's lapel. I thanked him and went back to my first position. Then, all of a sudden, and in the style of an over-directed film, several other riders popped open their purses and pulled out their wallets.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Book: Monty Python (Johnson)

Monty Python
- The First 28 Years Of -

Kim "Howard" Johnson

Thomas Dunne Books

Monday, November 7, 2022

A Forever Question: From a 'Bad' Movie?

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. What if "Eros" was right?

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Sunday Remembrance Post: Joining the War Effort

A few years ago I watched a fine feature-length documentary on WWII. Produced by the National Geographic Channel, "Inside WWII" overviews, in the hyper-speed mode so typical of info-dump docs made these days, the 20th century's largest conflict.

Some of the interview subjects explain why they joined the war. I remember the day in 1984 when I finally got around to asking my own father why he enlisted and why he chose RAF Bomber Command:

"I was pissed off. I was doing poorly in school and my mind was on the war overseas."

His rationale for joining the bomber force as a gunner was expedient:

"You got overseas quickly that way . . . It was an eight-week air gunners' course in Montreal."

(He knew that flying as "aircrew" in Bomber Command was dangerous work. Many young men, men too young, got "The Chop".)

As was the norm at the time in this neck of the woods my dad was sent to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) grounds for dispersal. From that famous Canadian site began the process of getting "shipped overseas", but as this was wartime it wasn't quite that easy. German U-boats prowled the North Atlantic in search of prey, and a steamer loaded with fresh faces was a prime and highly-prized target.

I will stop here: The above bits and pieces are stressful enough, never mind the few combat stories my dad did let out over the years. (While on one of my trips to England, as part of my ongoing research on RAF Bomber Command I spoke with historian Martin Middlebrook and he gave me some sage advice which I understood too well: "Don't ask your father. He won't tell you anything.")

A few years after the war ended he reenlisted with the RCAF and enjoyed a long career with Canada's finest service.

I left the best for last; the big "and" part of my dad's explanation for wanting to see action overseas:

"... And I wanted to get the Germans."

(A childhood friend did not come home; he died when his bomber was shot down over France. Kinda sobering, ain't it?)

Passions of the time, those were.

My father loved Germany and the Germans. We moved to West Germany in October of 1966, just twenty-one years after he flew in a Lancaster bomber doing a job he felt he must do.

Royal Air Force No. 626 Squadron - May 1945

CBC Interview With Sydney Newman at the BBC


One evening last week I took a break from my motions of nothingness to take some time to do some exploring on YouTube (a form of nothingness in motion, at times). I thought of Sydney Newman, the father, of a sort, of the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. Quickly I found a 43-minute piece of film from 1966. "Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman discusses his career with CBC" is an excellent interview with the man who went on to initiate and guide two stellar British television programmes, Doctor Who and The Avengers. However, there is much more to the story than those two series.

Newman was born and bred here in the great city of Toronto ― great now, and, I'm sure, great in 1917. He followed his dream working as a successful commercial artist, and the money was good, but Newman eventually decided to go into film production. A stint at the NFB (National Film Board) led to him working in television at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). After producing several distinguished one-off dramas, including Arthur Hailey's Flight into Danger, a live-to-air presentation from 1956, and one starring James Doohan of later Star Trek fame, Newman was courted and hired by ABC Weekend TV in the U.K. with the brief to do equally outstanding television drama programmes, but for the British public. That he did. The BBC then convinced him to jump ship and the rest is history: Doctor Who.

While Who is discussed in very brief terms, "Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman" more importantly is an instructive insight on the issues of producing television and the dichotomy between serving the public as a public broadcaster with that of the business of drawing sufficient viewers to validate and sustain one's position as a fiduciary of television "arts and entertainment".

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Book: The Beatles (Spitz)

The Beatles
- The Biography -

Bob Spitz

Back Bay Books

Monday, October 31, 2022

A Forever Question: Will That Be Cash, or Chargex?

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Can one rent money?

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Disney Who ― Question Mark Not Included

This week came the news that Disney has acquired the rights to do a Doctor Who show ― actually a coproduction with the BBC. Some fans are going crazy with the elation that the franchise will now benefit from big U.S. television budgets. While the BBC version has always been low budget, even in television terms, and the latest "Who" has lessened this term with much help from wonderful imaging technologies, more money will not make the franchise better. Any such improvement happens at the computer keyboard, and from what a major Whovian friend of mine has told me over the last few years, the series has suffered from "poor writing"... and low ratings.

My take is "Who" has gone on for way too long. It's time to give it a rest. Good night, nurse!

Do something else.

Some Whovians might not appreciate my negativity, negativity which was refreshed when I watched a NewWho episode a couple of years ago, I've not always been that way. In July of 2017 I wrote this....

"I found out this past week that the next 'Doctor' will be played by a woman. It's about bleedin' time! While I did clock some episodes in the new Doctor Who's first season (2005) I do not watch the show, but I know when it's time for a long-running television series to change with the times ― even when it's behind the times."

The news, as relayed by The Guardian....

The good news in all this is a person of colour, Ncuti Gatwa, will be the incoming "Doctor".

It's about time!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Book: The Prisoner (Fairclough)

The Prisoner
- The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series -

Robert Fairclough

forward by
Kenneth Griffith

Carlton Books Limited

Monday, October 24, 2022

A Forever Question: Darn

“Since before your sun burned hot in space and before your race was born, I have awaited a question."

Sir. Where can one find a pair of cold socks?

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Model Kit: Star Trek Motion Picture Klingon Cruiser

On Wednesday I posted a piece about genius Walter Matt Jefferies' brilliant Starship Enterprise design. For Star Trek he also produced another brilliant space vessel, the Klingon Battle Cruiser.

Last week a friend of mine gave me the above AMT-ERTL plastic model kit: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture Klingon Cruiser", the souped-up movie version from 1979. He's been going on a buying spree, of a sort, grabbing old AMT Star Trek kits. He's managed to find the "Romulan Bird of Prey" (designed by the great Wah Chang) and an early "U.S.S. Enterprise" kit. "Early", meaning it is an example produced within the first few years of, essentially, a decades-long manufacturing run by AMT ― and later, AMT-ERTL.

My collecting friend was able to get the 1984 pressing of the "Star Trek: The Motion Picture Klingon Cruiser", not the 1979 version. Sans "Battle", but many thanks!

Postscript: Geeks

CD: The Music of Alexander Mosolov (Mosolov)

The Music of Alexander Mosolov
(1900 - 1973)


Friday, October 21, 2022

Poem: Time Merchants

This morning I coffeed
on Yonge Street               
with an old friend
caught up on
issues since

I last saw him
last week

He and I disbanded:
My friend went back
to his conference and
I decided
to do something I
rarely do

walk up Yonge

"Look at all the
(going up
or already spiking
the cloudy sky)"

This town is out of
Zoning going to
The Twilight Zone

Yonge Street has
much these last few years
by Premium stacks
from holes

Before I made it
to Bloor Street I
was stopped by

a woman selling
in front of a shop


Why not?....

No, I
don't use facial moisturizers
but I should

I could

The sales lady was
in top form
having worked a little sales

I know the bad
the good

The cosmetic's test was done
on my forearm
I can imagine

With every peek into the bathroom
mirror my imagination tweaks
with age

** return **

Bloor Street



Simon St. Laurent

Thursday, October 20, 2022

CD: Led Zeppelin II (Led Zeppelin)

Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin

Atlantic Recording Corporation

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The USS Enterprise ― Starship NCC-1701 Returns

Star Trek's restored eleven-foot Starship Enterprise studio filming model is back on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, after the museum underwent some major renovations.

She's a work of beauty, and is still, in my opinion, the greatest of all starships. (Its designer was the brilliant Walter Matt Jefferies.) As an old friend of mine said: "It just glows."